Tennessee Department of Education School Safety: Emergency Preparedness

Tennessee school personnel are charged with the safety and care of students during emergency situations, such as natural disasters or other potential hazards. The School Safety resources below include various training elements involved in emergency management in Tennessee schools.


Tennessee Department of Education School Safety: Safe Schools Act

Safe Schools Act funds are provided to decrease the likelihood of violent or disruptive behavior and to protect students and staff from harm when such behavior may occur.

The funds are available to all Tennessee public school districts and may be used for one or more of the following purposes:

  • Facility security and planning
  • School safety personnel
  • Violence prevention
  • Training and drills
  • Behavioral health


Tennessee Department of Education School Safety: Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) Act 

Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-(801-814) or the SAVE Act (Schools Against Violence in Education) establishes specific and consistent requirements for local education agencies in providing a safe school environment.  The act also establishes a state-level safety team to provide guidance to school districts in their efforts to address, plan, and implement a comprehensive school safety planning strategy.  Below is the product of that effort.  Please find the SAVE Act Compliance Instrument/ Self-Assessment, District and School-Level Emergency Coordinators Spreadsheet, Compliance Package Coversheet with Assurances Statement, and Detailed Reporting Instructions to help ensure that your district is complying with all the requirements set forth.  Additionally, a School-Level Evidence Inventory has been included to gather information for the district’s inventory assessment found within the instrument.  The SAVE Act Compliance Instrument provides a framework for emergency planning aimed at bringing together all available resources and stakeholders to provide for the safety of all of Tennessee’s students. 

To begin developing or revising your existing plans review Guide for Developing High Quality School Emergency Operations Plans.  Also find additional planning resources below that will help you comply with each of the planning requirements set forth. 


Tennessee Department of Education School Safety: School Resource Officers (SROs) Program

Law enforcement and local education agencies have a long history of partnering together for the safety of students.  Strong relationships have strengthened the ability of both agencies to prepare for and respond to criminal and/or threatening incidents that occur in school settings. School resource officer programs provide the crucial link between school districts and law enforcement agencies in their continued efforts to establish and maintain secure and safe learning environments. 

Hopefully, the information provided in this website will serve as a tool for school resource officers, administrators, teachers, parents and students.  For general questions on school resource officer programs, please contact Mike Herrmann at (615) 741-3248.


Tennessee Department of Education School Safety: PREPARE

Tennessee Schools PREPARE is a program designed to develop and then disseminate information to school districts that will assist all schools in advancing and maturing the response and recovery portion of their emergency management plan. TSP is an ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders—an ecological process enabling Tennessee schools to respond to crisis with effective, best practice interventions.


Tennessee School Safety Legislation

In 2018, the Police Foundation staff conducted a comprehensive public domain scan of state legislation from all 50 states and the District of Columbia related to the following aspects of school safety and security:

  • facility security and assessment requirements;
  • creation, and identification of roles and responsibilities for state school safety centers and school safety teams/committees;
  • requirements for school administrators and faculty;
  • allocation of funds for improving school safety and security; and
  • all-hazards emergency planning and preparedness.

The Police Foundation also reviewed legislation and amendments passed by state legislatures and signed into law following the mass violence attacks at schools in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas. Seven states—Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island—officially codified new significant school safety and security laws that address at least one of the aspects mentioned above. The legislative review utilized open source research, and encompasses all legislation that was officially codified by September 11, 2018.